Top Chemical Industry Posts You Missed in January 24095

February 5, 2020

4 Min Read
Top Chemical Industry Posts You Missed in January
Here are the most important chemical industry posts on you missed last month. Image courtesy of Pixabay

Headlines on the chemical industry this January were dominated by several deadly explosions, a major lawsuit was filed in the U.S. over Risk Management Program (RMP) rules, and a few noteworthy acquisitions. Powder & Bulk Solids editors selected these posts to provide our audience with an overview of some of the most interesting chemical industry-related developments that were reported in the last month. 

3 Dead, Several Injured After Chemical Plant Explosion
Three people died and six others were injured during an explosion and fire in mid-January at a petrochemical facility in Terragona, Spain. After the blast, officials ordered hundreds of thousands of residents to remain indoors because of concerns that chemicals could have been released in the area. 

EPA Sued by 15 State Attorneys General Over RMP Changes
15 state attorneys general and the City of Philadelphia filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in late January for “gutting” the Obama-era Chemical Disaster Rule amendments to Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations. The agency removed the Chemical Disaster Rule from the RMP regulations in a final rule published in November 2019, stating that eliminating the additional regulations was intended to get rid of “burdensome, costly, unnecessary” amendments and improve security at chemical and petroleum plants. 

BASF Building New Crop Protection Manufacturing Hub
German chemicals and materials firm BASF broke ground on a new crop protection products manufacturing hub in Singapore last month to increase production for customers across Asia Pacific. The facility will have six different formulation technologies and a production capacity of 7 million ltr/yr when it becomes operational in Q3 2021.

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8 Dead After Chemical Plant Explosion
Eight people died and several more were injured after an explosion Saturday night at the under-construction Ank Pharma plant in Boisar, about 60 miles from Mumbai, in the state of Maharashtra. According to Ashok Khot, deputy director of Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health (DISH), Vasai, Ank Pharma did not have the required permissions to operate. The company’s owner, Natwarlal Patel, failed to apply for the license and registration under the Factory Act, 1948.

Evonik Scoops Up American Phytochemical Firm
German specialty chemicals firm Evonik is poised to expand its offerings for the cosmetics, pharmaceutical, and food processing industries with the planned acquisition of phytochemical ingredients and intermediates supplier Wilshire Technologies Inc. Once the deal closes, the business will join Evonik’s Care Solutions business line and its range of sustainable and natural-based ingredients.

U.S. Specialty Chemical Markets End 2019 on a Soft Note
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reported that U.S. specialty chemicals market volumes ended 2019 on a soft note, with a 0.3% decline in December following a 0.1% gain in November. Of the 28 specialty chemical segments ACC monitors, 16 segments expanded in December, up from 10 in November. Ten markets declined in December and two were flat. During December, large market volume gains (1.0% and over) occurred only in electronic chemicals. 

Sasol Experiences Explosion and Fire in New LDPE Unit
A fire and explosion were reported in mid-January at the Sasol Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP) low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plant in Lake Charles, LA. The explosion took place as workers were starting up the new production asset. 

Celanese Buys Polymer Powders Business from Nouryon
Chemical and specialty materials firm Celanese entered into an agreement last month to purchase Nouryon’s Elotex brand of dispersible polymer powders, including all associated production facilities in Europe and Asia. When Elotex becomes a part of Celanese, the business will be integrated into the firm’s global acetyl chain. The brand is currently produced at facilities in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and China and its global headquarters, R&D, and technical services functions are based in Sempach, Switzerland. 

Two Injured in Chemical Plant Explosion
Two people were transported to a hospital after a blast at the Rathburn Chemicals production plant in Walkerburn, Scottish Borders, Scotland in early January. Some homes near the plant were evacuated as a precaution during the incident and a school near the site closed. 

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More Chemical Industry articles:

Operations Start at New Indorama Cracker in Louisiana

Dow Invests Over $200M to Expand Ethylene Plant

Fire Breaks Out at Pennsylvania Chemical Plant

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